SCMNS Features Women Leaders for International Women's Day

On this International Women's Day, March 8, 2018, SCMNS joins the press for progress toward gender parity. When it comes to women leaders in science, few can match the remarkable accomplishments of Morgan's own Dr. Clara I. Adams.

Dr. Clara I. Adams is a distinguished graduate of Morgan. She earned her B.S. (summa cum laude) in chemistry here and her M.S. at Iowa State College. Later she earned the Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts (in cooperation with Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College and Amherst College), where she focused her research on “Local Order in Alkali-Halide Solid Solutions.”

After graduating from Morgan, Dr. Adams served as a research fellow at the Ames Laboratory of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, while pursuing the Master’s Degree at Iowa. She was also employed as a chemist at the National Heart Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Her amazing tenure at Morgan began in 1959, when she was appointed an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. After taking leave from Morgan and while pursuing her doctorate at Massachusetts, she was a Teaching Fellow and a Research Fellow at Smith College; and she returned to her Alma Mater in 1968 as Associate Professor of Chemistry. Her ascendancy from that moment was steady and sure-footed. From 1973 to 1975, she was Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department. From 1975 to 1985, she was Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and, after her ten-year tenure in that position, she was enlisted by President Richardson as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morgan. The rest is history!

Under the masterful leadership of Dr. Adams, the Academic Division grew tremendously in both size and quality. Five new Bachelor’s degree programs, six new Master’s degree programs, and 11 new doctoral programs were approved or implemented under her watch; the quality of students entering and graduating from Morgan increased; all eligible academic programs achieved national accreditation; sponsored research increased exponentially, and Morgan became a leader among state institutions in the graduation of minorities in many fields. Her remarkable accomplishments have made her 20-year tenure as Vice President for Academic Affairs one of the most significant in Morgan’s history. She continues to serve Morgan as Special Assistant to the President.

A true Renaissance Woman, while making significant scholarly contributions to her field by publishing in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Anal. Chem. ACTA, Dr. Adams is also involved extensively in the community and in professional organizations associated with higher education. On the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, she has served on various committees, including the minority education committee, and was regional representative on its Board of Directors. For the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools, she served on the Executive Committee and led the organization as President. She has served as both Vice President and President of the Conference of Deans of Black Graduate Schools and has held membership on the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Other affiliations include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Professors, the American Chemical Society, the Association of American Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Quality Education for Minorities Network, on which she serves currently as a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer.

Her community involvement is broad and varied. It includes, among many others, membership on the Boards (Directors, Trustees and Overseers) of the National Aquarium, Morgan Christian and Interfaith Center, and Baltimore School for the Arts; and membership on many community development, educational and cultural associations.1

Join us as we celebrate our women leaders in the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences!

Dr. Cleo Hughes Darden
Chairperson of the Biology Department

Dr. Angela Winstead
Chairperson of the Chemistry Department

Dr. Traci Allotey
Director of the Actuarial Science Program

Dr. Lisa D. Brown
Associate Chairperson of the Biology Department

Dr. Diane Wilson
Director of the Medical Technology Program

1Hollis, Burney J., Ed. “Celebrating the Morgan Renaissance: The Lady Behind the Renaissance.” The Academic Connection, 1 (2005): 13.